Boy, 14, killed in car and sword attack in north-east London

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Doorbell footage shows the moment the Hainault attack suspect is Tasered by police

By Jess Warren
BBC News

A 14-year-old boy has died after an attacker armed with a sword went on the rampage in north-east London.

Police were called to reports of a car crashing into a house and people being stabbed in Hainault at about 07:00 BST.

The boy was taken to hospital where he later died.

Four other people, including two police officers, were injured before the suspect – who had been leaping over people’s garden fences – was cornered and Tasered in a front garden.

The 36-year-old man was arrested and the Metropolitan Police said he was in hospital being treated for injuries sustained when the vehicle he was in crashed into the house.

Watch: Police pursue sword stabbing suspect as he climbs over garage roofs

His condition meant he had not yet been interviewed, police added.

Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe said their investigations had not discovered any previous contact between the man and the police.

Footage shared on social media showed a man with a long knife in Laing Close.

Ch Supt Stuart Bell acknowledged there would be “understandably, a desire for answers and an explanation as to what happened” and officers were working to “establish the full facts”.

Footage taken by a bystander at the scene shows the alleged attacker

Ch Supt Bell said two Met officers were in hospital and had suffered wounds requiring surgery. Three members of the public, including the boy, were also taken to hospital.

He described the officers’ stab wounds as “significant” but not life-threatening.

The injuries of the two other members of the public were also “not believed to be life-threatening”.

Ch Supt Stuart Bell confirms a 14-year-old boy was killed in Hainault stabbing

Ch Supt Bell said police did not believe there was any ongoing threat to the wider public and they were not seeking any other suspects.

He added he did not believe it was terror-related and was not a “targeted” attack.

Police said a vehicle was driven into a house in the Thurlow Gardens area and footage shared on social media showed a man with a long knife in Laing Close

Ch Supt Bell said the boy’s family was being supported by specialist officers at this “unimaginably difficult time”.

“My thoughts are with the injured, their families and the wider community,” he added.

Emergency services were called shortly before 07:00 BST

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said additional uniformed police officers would be in the area over the coming days.

“I’m sure I speak for the entire city when I say our thoughts are with this young child and his family,” he said.

“It breaks my heart not only that this child has lost his life, but two members of our emergency services have risked their own safety to make sure others weren’t injured.”

He has also asked residents in Hainault to pass on any footage recorded on phones or doorbell cameras to the police.

‘Stand-off’

Hainault London Underground station was closed during the incident and local buses were diverted.

An eyewitness said there appeared to be a stand-off between police and the suspect in an alleyway.

The man, who asked not to be named, said: “I also heard the words ‘he’s got a massive knife’, or ‘he’s got a massive sword’.”

He said police “went into the alley and there seemed to be some sort of a stand-off there where I heard this huge commotion”.

Forensic officers are gathering evidence and information at the scene

Another eyewitness, Chris Bates, who lives in Thurlow Gardens, said he saw the suspect run through the area.

“He ran through the gardens and came out on to the street by the house next door to me,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“The police were there. He then ran down to two doors down, and tried to get on the sort of scaffold, and they Tasered him and took him down.”

A police cordon is in place at the scene

Manpreet Singh, who also witnessed the attack, told BBC Radio 5 Live he had walked out of an office when he “heard chaos” on the other side of the road.

“I saw a group of people, five or six of them, trying to fight off a guy – he had a sword in his hand,” he said.

“There was about seven or eight police cars entering that road and, after another 10 minutes, I saw the guy running towards the station and entered the road opposite the station.

“He tried to get into one of the houses but couldn’t get into it and that’s when they Tasered him.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the King had asked to be kept “fully informed” as details of the incident become clearer.

They said: “His thoughts and prayers are with all those affected – in particular, the family of the young victim who has lost his life – and he salutes the courage of the emergency services who helped contain the situation.”

‘The best of us’

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the incident as “shocking”, adding: “Such violence has no place on our streets.”

Wes Streeting, the MP for Ilford North, said the community would be “devastated by the heartbreaking news”. “I can’t imagine what that poor boy’s family are going through and they have my deepest, heartfelt condolences,” he said.

“I want to thank the emergency services for their courageous response, particularly the heroic Metropolitan Police officers who put themselves in harms way to protect others.

“They are the best of us.”

Rick Prior, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said the thoughts of all police officers in London were with the family of the teenager who died, and all those injured.

He said it was a “horrific incident” and a “sad reminder” of the dangers officers face to keep Londoners safe.

“It’s often forgotten by people who attack our profession and the difficult and dynamic decisions which officers are confronted with on an hourly basis, that we work with heroes whose courage is incredible,” he said.

“We shall be supporting our injured colleagues, the officers they work with and their families as best we can at this very difficult time.”

The Metropolitan Police has corrected the boy’s age to 14 after previously stating that he was 13.

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